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Transmission & Drivetrain

Ready to Modernize Your Chevy 4L60E Trans?

Ready to Modernize Your Chevy 4L60E Trans?-Gearstar

So, you’ve got a Chevy 4L60E trans and you think it can offer more power, speed, and even fuel economy? Then it’s time to make it happen. You may have taken the route of providing more horsepower to see that the car accelerates better.

However, if the transmission does not send this power to the wheels, you won’t really see a significant difference. But what if you could take the approach of making certain performance upgrades to this transmission, it’ll boost its power and give you the ride you desire.

And you’ll be surprised to know that a budget-friendly upgrade will enable the ride to handle up to 500 hp. Accordingly, we’ve outlined some tips that will help you to modernize your Chevy 4L60E trans.


About the Chevy 4L60E Trans

The 700R4 transmission gained several upgrades over the years which led to the launch of transmissions including the 4L60E/4L65E/4L70E. The 4L60E is an electronically controlled four-speed automatic overdrive transmission.

As an electronic version, this transmission may be a bit expensive to retrofit into an older car, but this version is easier to manipulate compared to dealing with TV cables and mechanical governors. On the other hand, the right performance parts can make the Chevy 4L60E trans a solid street overdrive automatic.


Modernizing the 4L60E Trans

Rebuilding the 4L60E can significantly improve its performance and this upgrade can be carried out using modern parts. Accordingly, the performance upgrades that can be implemented to modernize the 4L60E transmission include:


1. Replace the Pump

If the transmission’s pump is performing below expectations or is bad entirely, it calls for replacement. For starters, a pump that is underperforming can lead to low line pressure which can cause further problems.

This is because automatic transmissions apply clutches and servos with the help of hydraulic pressure. Hydraulic pressure is also essential for any performance-built automatic. But how do you begin?

Disassemble the unit and clean it before checking the clearances of the front pump. An elevated pressure regulator spring and boost valve may also help to improve the performance of the transmission.


2. Valve Body Modification

A simple 2-3 shift valve modification can bring about an improvement in durability, which is useful in performance driving. In this case, placing the shifter in “D3” uses the over-run clutch in the first three gears and this helps to improve durability since the input sprag is not abused. In contrast, the over-run clutch in OE configuration is applied when the shifter is in “D3” and after the transmission upshifts into Third gear.


3. Second and Fourth Gear Servos

Larger Second and Fourth gear servos can help to increase the piston apply area. The Second gear kit can offer as much as 18 percent more apply area compared to the OE Corvette servo.

As such, it could lead to a reduction in band slippage during upshifts and at the same time increase hold pressure. A customized Corvette-style servo, for instance, can potentially bring about a 35% increase in the servo apply area compared to a stock V-8 version. It can also offer better 1-2 and 2-3 shifts.


4. Enhance the Clutch Pack Clearance

Car rebuilders have noted time and again that a tight 3-4 clutch pack clearance (0.045-inch) could lead to excessive drag. This drag may occur in cases where the clutches are not applied in the first and second gears. What happens here is the drum spins but insufficient clearance can cause the clutches to glaze and fail prematurely.

Accordingly, a better approach is to set the 3-4 clutch clearance dry at 0.060-inch instead of 0.045-inch using return springs. These springs help the clutches to release fully. And for more increased stability, rear stator support, and wider sun gear bushings can also be used.


5. Wider Reverse-input Drum Band

A wider reverse-input drum band that is used with a new drum instead of an old one can also be beneficial. A wider band over a used drum allows the band to span the drum’s worn portion. A new reverse-input drum is useful to ensure that the band does not fail quickly.


6. Use a Reinforcement Kit

An input housing reinforcement kit is useful in preventing the transmission’s housing from cracking right where the input shaft is fixed. Clutches may be susceptible to certain problems and notable among this is an excessive backing plate flex once the clutches are applied.

On the other hand, an Ultimate 3-4 Smart-Tech housing can be used with a stronger input shaft to increase the housing depth with a 0.165-inch greater capacity. This capacity will allow more clutches to be supported but not at the expense of steel thickness.

Moreover, the 3-4 housing takes advantage of a 15-bolt retaining ring cap which shows renewed strength and, therefore, helps to eliminate deflection.


7. SmartShell Reaction Shell

One more way to bring about significant improvement in durability is to take advantage of a SmartShell reaction shell. A custom SmartShell reaction shell can offer improved durability compared to the original piece which is prone to failure. For starters, the customized variant may feature a thrust bearing as a replacement to the OE bushing along. This setup can also be paired with a custom roller clutch race.


The Bottom Line

Performance parts can help to build a Chevy 4L60E trans that will meet your heart’s desire for power and speed. It’s not all about boosting the horsepower and at the end of the day, not still get the required performance. Rather, it involves taking the extra time to revamp this trans to handle modern-day driving needs.

Moreover, the upgrades to be made using these parts are inexpensive, and as such, you can get them fixed in no time. And if you do not have great expertise to handle this rebuild yourself, let an auto shop handle it on your behalf. That being the case, you’ll still have a ride that is better than what you started off with.


6 Ways to Prolong the Life of Your Performance Transmission

6 Ways To Prolong The Life Of Your Performance Transmission-Gearstar

There are several ways to prolong the life of your performance transmission, and if you employ them, it’ll save you from making huge expenses in the long run. A transmission is one of the most expensive components in a car and as such, a replacement could take a huge chunk out of your wallet.

And that may be the least to worry about since serious issues that arise in your transmission may be difficult to repair. Nonetheless, you can cut costs and at the same time, avoid potential transmission problems just by applying certain tips. These tips will help to extend the life of your performance transmission.


A Great Performance Transmission

Transmission in a manual or automatic car helps to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. What this power transfer does is to enable the car to change its gears and also move in the desired direction.

Now if your transmission is in bad shape, it either has to be overhauled or replaced entirely. The process is expensive and may become a bitter pill to swallow. But the good news is, it can be avoided by carrying out certain checks.


How to Extend the Life of Your Performance Transmission

You can extend the life of your performance transmission by doing the following:


1. Check the Transmission Fluid Regularly

Transmission fluid helps in cooling and lubrication, and it transmits force and pressure, while also preventing build-up. Therefore, one surefire way to prolong your transmission’s life is to check its fluid regularly.

The transmission fluid may run low or contain impurities as it gets old. When either of these happens, it could lead to common transmission problems such as overheating. Nonetheless, overheating can be avoided if you know just the right time to refill or change the fluid entirely.

Now you may be wondering, how often should you check the transmission fluid? You can inspect the fluid once every month to ascertain its level and condition.

Pick up your dipstick and check the level of the transmission fluid, and if it looks opaque instead of clear red, then the fluid is bad and needs to be changed. Similarly, if you give the fluid a good whiff and perceive a foul smell, then it could be a sign of a problem.


2. Use Synthetic Fluid

Synthetic transmission fluid is more preferable than ordinary fluid for a number of reasons. For starters, a synthetic fluid is better at resisting cold, heat, oxidation, and shearing. Heat, on the other hand, can break down the organic compounds in a regular fluid thereby making it less effective.

Therefore, if you want your transmission to last longer, synthetic fluid would be your go to option. Heat-resistant, synthetic fluid will help an aging transmission to still offer good performance over time.

A good number of manufacturers are already replacing regular fluids with synthetic fluids in a bid to ensure that the vehicle is not impacted by certain elements. In line with that, it is worth noting that poor quality fluid can harm your transmission; hence, the high-quality fluid must be used at all times.


3. Service Your Transmission Every 30,000 Miles

Your transmission can last for 300,000 miles or more if it is serviced regularly. The reason can be tied to the fact that the transmission can fail within 100,000 miles. What this means is that if you tend to drive around 10-15,000 miles a year, the unit could be down in seven years. Here’s what we’re getting at:

Another way to extend the life of your performance transmission is to get the unit serviced every two years or 30,000 miles. During the servicing process, one of the most effective maintenance procedures will be carried out on your vehicle and that is changing the transmission fluid.

Accordingly, the old fluid will be drained from the transmission, and the pan will be cleaned.  The filter will then be replaced before new fluid is poured into it. At the end of the day, you would’ve been able to enhance the performance of your car just by changing the fluid and allowing its filter to work better at trapping dirt.

Interestingly, a service of this nature would cost you around $60-$100 or less depending on where your car is being serviced. If you want to reduce the cost of servicing your transmission even further, learn to carry out the process yourself.


4. Use an External Filter

You may have taken the needful step to clean your transmission’s filter. But an external filter to the cooler lines can also help to keep dirt away from the fluid. This is because the original filter may be unable to handle all the particles it may encounter, hence an external filter will help it to do a better job.

In the end, more contaminants will be trapped and the transmission fluid will be as clean as possible. Much more, the fluid will be clean for a longer time compared to when a single filter is used.


5. Maintain the Cooling System

Your car’s radiator also serves to cool the engine since heat can cause a lot of damage to the transmission. While you may have a radiator in place, its level of performance may reduce with time, which is why it is advisable that you maintain it every two years.

These maintenance checks will involve inspecting the coolant levels, changing the antifreeze, and inspect the hoses and belts. Other checks you can carry out include carrying out a radiator cap pressure test, and a thermostat check.

A transmission cooler might also prove very useful if you tend to travel in environments where the temperature of the transmission might be raised to high levels. The same applies if you drive with heavy loads frequently, or in heavy traffic.


6. Practice Good Driving

It is important to drive your car more easy. Especially on a cold start since transmission fluid is thicker when it’s cold. If the fluid does not move well from the bottom to the top, it could lead to friction thereby causing damage.

What’s more, the transmission takes time to warm up and if it doesn’t, you may be putting too much strain on it. The point is, don’t drive even before the transmission has warmed up.

If it is in cold weather, let the car idle. When the engine’s RPM has lowered, the vehicle can be put into gear. Asides from being easy on the unit, you can use the emergency brake when you’re parking on an incline, and avoid resting your hand on the gear lever as you drive.


The Bottom Line

These are the easy steps on how to prolong the life of your performance transmission. It revolves around checking your transmission fluid regularly, setting scheduled fluid changes, band adjustments and using more than one filter.

There’s also the need to ensure that your radiator is functional. This will help to minimize the heat produced by the engine while in operation. Try each of these and you’ll be able to extend the life of your transmission for a couple of years if not more.

Most importantly, it’ll help you to save thousands of dollars that would have been wasted on premature transmission failure.

4R70W Transmission-Swapped Fourth-Gen Mustang?

4R70W Transmission-Swapped Fourth-Gen Mustang? - Gearstar

The fourth generation Ford Mustang can be made faster and more reliable by carrying out some performance upgrades instead of adding more power. It may involve installing a performance automatic 4R70W transmission in a bid to change the stock unit that came with the vehicle.

While a stock transmission comes directly out of the manufacturer’s warehouse, it may be unable to handle your need for speed. The latter can be tied to the Two Valve it features, which may leave the car struggling to get enough RPM (Revolutions per minute). Remember, if it gets enough RPM without struggling to, it takes it one step closer to being a faster ride.

Accordingly, the modifications or boost you can give the Mustang will provide a nose that is significantly higher than what a stock Two Valve can. The aim is to meet or exceed the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) measured standards.

But first…

What Is a 4R70W Transmission?

The 4R70W was launched as an improved version of the AOD-E transmission. And compared to the AOD-E, the 1st and 2nd gear ratios of the 4R70-W are numerically higher. This resulted in:

    • Better gearset strength
    • Lower fuel consumption
    • Better take-off acceleration
    • Better mechanical advantage

This Ford transmission is also an upgrade to the AOD, a 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission, aimed at tackling fuel efficiency issues. Upon its launch, the transmission featured a “wide ratio” gear set, however, a mechanical diode replaced its intermediate one-way clutch in 1998.

Often times, upgrades to the Mustangs with the 4R70W transmission are made possible using 4.10 rear end gears, shift kits, and a performance torque converter.

4R70W Transmission Specs

The 4R70W transmission specs are:

    • Transmission: Ford 4R70W
    • Predecessor: Ford AODE
    • Type: 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission
    • Wide gear ratio
    • Rear-wheel drive
    • Case Material: Aluminum
    • Max Input Torque: ~ 516 lb-ft (700 n-m)
    • ATF Type/Spec: MERCON V ATF (Motorcraft XT-5-QMC)
    • Transmission Filter: Motorcraft FT105

Gear ratios:

    • First: 2.84 :1
    • Second: 1.55 :1
    • Third: 1.00 :1
    • Overdrive: 0.70 :1
    • Reverse: 2.32 :1

4R70W Transmission-Infused Vehicles

Cars that used the 4R70W transmission include:

    • Ford F-150 Series pick-up trucks, E-150 Series vans, Expeditions, Explorers, Crown Victorias, Thunderbirds, and Mustangs
    • Lincoln Town Cars and Mark VIIIs
    • Mercury Grand Marquis, Cougars, Mountaineers and Marauders

Specifically, the years this transmission was used are:

    • 1993–1998 Lincoln Mark VIII
    • 1993–2003 Ford F-Series
    • 1994–1997 Ford Thunderbird
    • 1995–2004 Ford Crown Victoria
    • 1996–2001 Ford Explorer
    • 1993–2004 Lincoln Town Car
    • 1994–1997 Mercury Cougar
    • 1995–2004 Mercury Grand Marquis
    • 2003 Mercury Marauder
    • 1997–2004 Ford Expedition
    • 1997–2001 Mercury Mountaineer
    • 1996–2004 Ford Mustang
    • 2004–2005 Rover 75 V8

On the other hand, the 4R70W was not the only transmission for Mustangs.

This is because Ford had launched a range of transmissions since 1979 for Mustangs, and as such, you can find a wide variety of these transmissions. Other models include:

    • C4 Transmission
    • Automatic Overdrive or AOD Transmission
    • AOD-E Transmission
    • 4R75W Transmission
    • 5R55S Transmission

How to Boost Performance in a 4th Generation Mustang

A performance automatic 4R70W transmission can be used to boost the performance of a fourth generation Mustang. This is because a well-built automatic transmission and a torque converter with the right specs can give you car a good boost.

In that regard, this boost can be made possible by replacing the stock automatic-equipped Two Valves in the ride. Why is that?

The stock transmission is not known to offer an out-this-world performance due to the fact that a stock converter does not really perform to its best when it lacks low-rpm torque. In the same vein, the slushy shifts it makes shows that it is spending more time between gears rather than driving forward.

Nonetheless, some stock 4R70W-equipped light bolt-on New Edge GTs move speedily and even cover the quarter-mile in the low 15-second to high 14-second range. Much more, this performance is carried out seamlessly.

Accordingly, what you need to begin, is the right aftermarket parts to bring out their best performance. It all begins with a transmission upgrade.

Advantages of a 4R70W Transmission Upgrade

An automatic transmission upgrade can help with your ride’s performance, hence, it is a good place to start instead of adding more power. Here are some benefits that can be obtained from this transmission upgrade:

    • An upgrade will enable the car to shift gears faster and hold more power.
    • The performance converter will be able to move the car into the powerband sooner.
    • The upgraded components will be able to withstand the converter being locked under WOT.

Consequently, adding more power is not the most ideal solution since a good number of stock automatics tend to fail in short order once more power has been added. It could mean more problems in the long run, but it can be avoided by starting from the basics through a transmission upgrade.

4R70W Transmission Problems

Asides from upgrading your transmission to get more speed, it can help to improve its reliability. This is because there are certain 4R70W transmission problems that are prevalent with the stock transmission. For starters, the stock 4R70W transmission was susceptible to the following issues:

    • Harsh 2-3 shift
    • Delay in lock-up
    • Loss of second gear and third gear
    • Loss of fourth gear and forward gears
    • An intermediate clutch failure
    • Delay in reverse or shudder in reverse
    • Leaking of the front seal or pump noise

The Bottom Line

The 4R70W is a good transmission, however, it can be made to perform even better in a fourth generation Ford Mustang. In this case, the usual route of adding more power is not employed, instead, a transmission upgrade is carried out to ensure that whether you’re out for drag racing or performance driving, you can get good speed.

What’s more, an upgrade from the stock transmission will eliminate certain issues that were prevalent in it. These issues include loss in gears, delays in lockup, clutch failure, and many others. Once each of these is eliminated, it can go a long way to improve the reliability of your transmission and also help it to offer more power boost.

Overview of the GM TH400 Transmission

The GM TH400 Transmission: An Overview - Gearstar

 The TH400 or Turbo 400 is a good transmission that was used in several cars years ago. This popular transmission was found in GM’s cars, as well as, Rolls-Royces, Jeeps, Jaguars, Ferraris, etc. The TH400’s high-level of adoption could be tied to its remarkable features, and it proved that people can once again rely on GM transmissions.

But what were these features sported by this durable and legendary transmission, and generally, what set it apart from other transmissions from this manufacturer? An overview of the TH400 transmission will give you a better idea. Read on to find out!


The GM TH400 Transmission

The GM TH400 transmission is a three-speed automatic transmission that was longitudinally positioned behind the engine. This placement is aimed at providing the best power ratio and durability for rear-wheel drive. The TH400 has been rated at 450 ft. lbs. of input torque, nonetheless, aftermarket designs that have been modified may go beyond that rating.


History of the TH400 Transmission

The TH400 was launched by General Motors in 1964, as a replacement to the ST300 2-speed automatic transmission. It was used in a wide range of vehicles, hence, it was not just exclusive to GM cars.

Upon its launch, the TH400 was evident in Buicks and Cadillacs, and a year later, it was used in Chevrolet and Oldsmobile cars. Buick, Olds, and Cadillacs that were later launched between 1965-1967 also featured the transmission but with an innovative variable-pitch stator. This stator helped to vary the torque converter’s characteristics, and you can tell a car has this stator by the two-prong plug on the case.

In the 1970s, the TH400 was used in heavier-duty GM trucks and it was available in 2wd and 4wd configurations. The naming of the TH400 was changed to 3L80 (3-speeds, Longitudinally positioned, 8000 lbs. GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight) in 1990 to make it easier for buyers to identify the transmission.

The change in naming does not come as surprise since some GM transmissions were also renamed (for example the 700R4 to 4L60). Around the same time when the TH400’s name was changed, an overdrive version called the 4L80-E was launched.

This is an electronically controlled transmission that is still being produced and used in a range of heavy-duty GM and military cars/trucks. Generally, here’s a list of cars that used the TH400 transmission:

    • 1965-1967, 327 V8 (Rambler/AMC)
    • 1968-1971, 350 V8 (Buick)
    • 1969-1972, 225 V6 (Buick)
    • 1972-1975, 232 I6 (AMC)
    • 1975-1979, 258 I6 (AMC)
    • 1972-1979, 304 V8 (AMC)
    • 1972-1979, 360 V8 (AMC)
    • 1974-1975, 401 V8 (AMC)
    • GM
    • Jaguar
    • Ferrari
    • Rolls-Royce


Features of the TH400 Transmission

The features of the TH400 Transmission enabled it to provide improved performance over previous transmissions. It was also durable, and these characteristics can be tied to the following:

    • Aluminum and iron construction.
    • Weighs 135 pounds without fluid.
    • Bell housing integrated into the transmission.
    • First gear: 2.48:1, Reverse gear: 2.08:1, and third gear is an even 1 to 1.
    • Came with three tail shaft lengths.


Turbo 400 Transmission Identification

The Turbo 400 transmission can be identified in the following ways:

1. External Build

The TH400 transmission comes with a case made of cast aluminum alloy to give it strength and durability. The case is very smooth and its length sits at length of 24-3/8″ long. This TH400 is the largest of the common GM automatic transmissions, however, the transmission still maintains a compact design.

There is a hex bolt pattern on the rear mounting face of the transmission and the ribs run forward longitudinally. In line with that, the fluid pan has an irregular shape.

2. Variants of the TH400

There are two variants of the TH400, and these are the TH375 and TH475. The TH375 was used in smaller displacement cars between 1972-1976. In contrast, the TH475 was used in larger trucks from 1971 since it is an extra-heavy-duty version. One can easily different either these variants apart by looking out for the “375-THM” designation cast on the bottom of the tail housing.

TH350 vs. TH400

A simple way to differentiate them is to check the kick-down mechanism. The TH400 transmission takes advantage of an electrical slide switch controlled by the throttle linkage. On the other hand, the TH350 uses a mechanical cable kick-down that is connected to the throttle linkage. Despite the difference, the TH400 is considered the heavy-duty version of the Turbo-Hydramatic 350.


Transfer Case of the TH400 Transmission

The TH400 can easily be adapted for use in most Jeeps longer than CJ5s, and as such, it is an excellent conversion transmission. Whether it’s the 2wd and 4wd versions of the Turbo 400, either of these can be used. Nonetheless, the 1976-1979 AMC case is similar to that of the TH400’s, from the collar of the case and back, however,  it is tilted about four degrees.


Engine Compatibility and Adaptability

The engine compatibility and adaptability of the TH400 transmission include:

1. AMC/Mopar Jeep

The earliest Turbo 400s in Jeeps featured a factory adapter plate, whereas older AMC versions came with a dedicated AMC style case. It is entirely possible to make the Chevy 400  compatible in the AMC I6 & V8 engines. As an upgrade of this nature can result in a more enhanced Jeep powertrain over 727, 999.

2. Chevrolet

The front face of the TH400 is compatible with the Chevy 90 degree “Small Block” or the “Big Block” patterned engines.

3. Buick / Olsmobile / Pontiac / Cadillac

The TH400 is compatible in Buick engines especially when you use a Buick V8 or V6 version of the transmission.


Common TH400 Problems

The TH400 may have offered improved performance over its predecessor, the ST300, but it still came with its own problems. Notable among this is an early shift and less efficiency when the engine revs high. The latter occurs when the kick-down switch, responsible for shifting between gears and maintaining maximum RPMs, stops working. The switch would’ve helped in, efficient power usage.

On the other hand, the cause of this problem can be tied to the wrong placement of the vacuum hard-line, moving from the intake manifold with a pliable rubber line. The heat generated by the engine and transmission leads to the deformity of the rubber, thereby failing to hold the pressure properly. Another problem of the TH400 is the possibility for its transmission fluid to leak gradually into the hose if the seal is not fixed properly.


The Bottom Line

An overview of the TH400 transmission shows it is a durable transmission that can give a good performance. The TH400 was used in a wide range of cars from GM as well as other manufacturers. Interestingly, the transmission can be adapted for use in several engines today. In the end, whether it’s a new or aftermarket TH400 you settle for, you are bound to get the full benefits offered by this transmission.


Torque Talk: Benefits of Installing an Aftermarket Torque Converter

Benefits of Installing an Aftermarket Torque Converter - Gearstar

If you own a car with an automatic transmission, chances that you’ve heard the term “torque” or “torque converter” from time to time. But what do all these mean and how does a torque converter work? And most importantly, are there any benefits you stand to gain from installing an aftermarket torque converter? Let’s take a quick look.


What Is a Torque Converter?

A torque converter is one of the major components in an automatic transmission, and it can be likened to a mechanical clutch in a manual transmission. As a type of fluid coupling, a torque converter transfers rotating power from a prime mover to a rotating driven load. The latter helps to connect the power source to the load in an automatic transmission.

Furthermore, this unit is located between the transmission and the engine flexplate – And it enables the engine to run while the car is stationary, but transfers power once the car starts moving. An aftermarket torque converter, however, is a converter that presents as a spare part.


Internal Components of Torque Converters

There are three main internal components in the torque converter that aids in its operation. These components include a pump, turbine, and stator. There is also the transmission fluid that moves through these components.

1. Pump

A converter’s housing connects to the engine’s flywheel, whereas the fins of the pump are links to the housing. This pump spins and pushes fluid outwards; hence, it is a centrifugal pump. The operation of the pump helps to create a vacuum that attracts more fluid towards the center, which then enters the turbine.

2. Turbine

The turbine is connected to the transmission through the output shaft, and the turbine’s spinning causes the transmission to move the car. Once fluid exits the turbine, it moves in a direction opposite to that of the engine and the pump.

3. Stator

The stator is located in the middle of the torque converter and it helps to redirect fluid before it re-enters the pump. The stator is placed on a fixed shaft, even though it has an internal one-way clutch to enable it freewheel at certain operating speeds.


How Does a Torque Converter Work?

There are three stages of operation evident in a torque converter and these are stall, acceleration, and coupling. Let’s take a closer look at each.

1. Stall

Stalling is when the turbine cannot rotate even after the prime mover has applied power to the impeller. A real-life scenario is when a driver puts the car’s transmission in gear, and at the same time, applies brakes continuously to prevent the car from moving.

What’s more, sufficient input power applied helps the torque converter to produce maximum torque multiplication – and the resulting multiplication is referred to as stall ratio. This stage of operation usually lasts briefly when the load starts to move initially since there will be a significant difference between the pump and turbine speed.

How to Check Your a Converter’s Stall Speed

One way to check a converter’s stall speed is to place the vehicle in Drive and press on the brake firmly – the throttle can be depressed fully for some seconds. The maximum RPM displayed is the stall speed of the vehicle’s converter.

What may be evident, is the tires spinning, due to the fact that the brake system may not be able to hold the engine back. The latter is known as brake stall speed and it is lower than the true stall speed.

2. Acceleration

In a situation where the load is accelerating but there is a large difference between the impeller and turbine speed, the torque converter will produce torque multiplication that is lesser compared to what would’ve been attainable under stall conditions. Nonetheless, the actual difference between the pump and the turbine speed will determine the amount of multiplication that is produced.

3. Coupling

Coupling is a stage of operation where the lock-up clutch is applied, which brings about fuel economy. Here, the turbine has achieved approximately 90 percent of the impeller’s speed. Also, torque multiplication is no longer evident and the torque converter’s operation can be likened to that of a simple fluid coupling.


Benefits of Aftermarket Torque Converters

There are several benefits of a torque converter, and some of these are:

1. Multiplication of Torque

A torque converter performs differently from a regular fluid coupling.  The latter matches the rotational speed, however, it is unable to multiply torque. In contrast, a torque converter can multiply torque in cases where the output rotational speed is low to the extent that it allows the fluid from the curved vanes of the turbine to be deflected off the stator.

Moreover, this fluid deflection occurs while the stator is locked against its one-way clutch, thereby providing the equivalent of a reduction gear. Torque multiplication also occurs when there is a difference between input and output speed.

2. Slippage

Some torque converters are built with a “lockup” mechanism. What the lockup does, is to bind the engine to the transmission rigidly when their speeds are almost equivalent. This operation helps to prevent high levels of slippage, and loss of efficiency.

Also, this helps to eliminate wasted power and at the same time improve fuel efficiency as high as 65 percent. If there are continuous high levels of slippage, however, it could make it difficult for the converter to dissipate heat.

When this happens, it could damage the elastomer seals that are responsible for retaining fluid within the converter. As time goes on, the fluid inside the converter may leak completely, thereby causing it to stop working.


The Bottom Line

A torque converter is a useful fluid coupling in automatic transmissions given the range of benefits it offers. From its ability to multiply torque, to preventing slippage that will bring about performance efficiency.

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that several components including the impeller, stator, and turbine aid its operation. Likewise, the three stages of operation are what finally leads to the resultant benefits reaped from using even an aftermarket torque converter.


The Logic Behind a 10-Speed Transmission

The Logic Behind a 10-Speed Transmission - Gearstar Performance

There are six, seven, and eight speeds transmissions, which may already seem like a lot to meet any car’s enthusiast need for speed and great performance. Which is why many have wondered if a 10-speed transmission isn’t too much or going overboard.

Others have opined that a 10-speed gearbox only complicates things, and is just manufacturers’ goal to satisfy consumers’ need for newer designs. Even if that’s the case, the logic behind a 10-speed transmission makes it a good innovation due to the numerous benefits this transmission offers over others out there.

Therefore, before you conclude and wonder if it’s worth it, we’ll show you what brought about its advent in the first place.


What Is a 10-Speed Transmission?

General Motors and Ford Motor Company made the 10-speed transmission as a result of a collaboration between the duo. The agreement was for each company to design a unique version of the 10-speed transmission and a transverse 9-speed trans-axle, in their own factories.

Therefore, it is safe to say that the 10-speed transmission was designed by Ford, whereas GM designed the 9-speed transmission. The 10-speed transmission was launched in 2018, and there were plans to adopt it in a number of GM and Ford products. It was also designed for rear-wheel-drive-based applications, which is why it is not so common in smaller SUVs.

Rather, the latter has been revamped with a nine-speed transmission to offer great performance. On the other hand, the 10-speed transmission does not translate into a bulky size since it has more gears, hence it can fit into the same space as GM’s six- and eight-speed units.


The Logic Behind a 10-Speed Transmission

So, what is the purpose of a 10-speed transmission? The logic behind a 10-speed transmission can be fully understood by making reference to continuously variable transmissions (CVTs). CVTs, which were and still are a car enthusiast’s least favorite transmission offer something worth noting.

For starters, they are the most efficient type of gearbox due to a number of reasons. CVTs do not have fixed gear ratios, but they change their ratio constantly, in a bid to keep the engine at its ideal operating speed at any point in time.

In line with that, CVTs allow the car to drone at a constant RPM when accelerating, which makes for great efficiency and performance. While these two are what performance or luxury cars need, it would still make no sense installing a CVT in these automobiles.

Rather, car manufacturers chose to give automatics the best of both worlds by adding more gears to their ride. This enhancement offers efficiency and performance to match that offered by CVT.

A real-life scenario is where the Lexus LC 500 reached 29 MPG on a 400-mile highway trip. It is quite remarkable given that this is a car featuring a 471-hp 5.0-liter V8.


What Cars Have a 10-Speed Transmission?

Different models of cars from General Motors feature a 10-speed transmission. Some cars that have a 10-speed transmission include Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Ford F-150 Raptor. Others include:

    • Tahoe RST
    • Suburban RST
    • Yukon Denali
    • Cadillac Escalade

What was evident, is the launch of this transmission on high-horsepower engines. An instance is the case of large SUVs that featured a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8.


Features of the 10-Speed Transmission

Some features of the 10-speed transmission include:


1. Creative Packaging

As already stated, the 10-speed transmission is not bulky but it has maintained a similar size to the six- and eight-speed transmissions. For this reason, it minimizes changes to vehicle interfaces.


2. GM-developed Controller

This transmission took advantage of an all-new, control system developed by General Motors. The system featured performance calibrations that were optimized specifically for different vehicles.


3. Quicker Shifts

Compared to a dual-clutch transmission, you get quicker shifts with the use of a 10-speed transmission, which should not come as a surprise. Tests have also shown that this transmission can offer faster upshift times than the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission.

If you like numbers, then it’s worth noting that you get a 36-percent quicker 1-2 upshift compared to the PDK. The 2-3 and 3-4 upshifts are 27% and 26% quicker, respectively.


4. Reduced Spin Losses

GM 10 speed transmission features two non-applied clutches, which is the same as the eight-speed transmission. Much more, it uses a new ultra-low viscosity transmission fluid, which helps to reduce friction.

And its internal thermal bypass enables the transmission to warm up faster and as a result, fuel efficiency is enhanced. Also, some transmission issues have been averted since this transmission has lower friction that makes for a greater fuel economy.

It is even better than what was evident in GM’s six- and eight-speed automatics. Therefore, the Ford 10 speed transmission reliability could be said to be better than that of its predecessors.


5. Gear Ratios

The gear ratios of the 10-speed transmission are:

    • First: 4.70
    • Second: 2.99
    • Third: 2.15
    • Fourth: 1.80
    • Fifth: 1.52
    • Sixth: 1.28
    • Seventh: 1.00
    • Eighth: 0.85
    • Ninth: 0.69
    • Tenth: 0.64
    • Reverse: 4.87


6. Design

A closer look at the 10-speed transmission shows that it features four simple gearsets and six clutches instead of the five that is on the 8-speed transmission – the clutches are two brake clutches and four rotating clutches.

One more clutch and forward gears go a long way to improve spin losses to enhance fuel efficiency. Over and above that, the 10-speed features a variable-displacement vane pump.

The role of this pump it to optimize transmission fluid pressure, depending on the speed and load, to enhance efficiency. A unique triple-clutch assembly in the middle of the 10-speed’s architecture is a primary enabler for packaging 10-speed content in the same space as GM’s six- and eight-speed transmissions.


7. Torque Converter

The torque converter of this transmission is 260mm in diameter. It comes with a lock-up clutch and an electronically controlled capacity clutch (ECCC) technology. The ECCC uses a small amount of slip to dampen out engine pulses in a bid to offer smoother running drivetrain, especially during shifting.


The Bottom Line

The logic behind the 10-speed transmission is quite unique, and it created a transmission that offers several benefits over six-speed and eight-speed transmission from General Motors. This new transmission offers great efficiency, and performance, while also optimizing fuel economy. Therefore, if you’re looking for a transmission to upgrade to, you should be looking at one of the latest out there.

Why More Turbo Boost Doesn’t Always Mean More Power

Why More Turbo Boost Doesn't Always Mean More Power - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

Did you know that more turbo boost does not always translate into more power? If you didn’t, we’re going to give you some reasons why that is and what could really impact the horsepower you’re hoping to get.

Car enthusiasts want to upgrade their vehicle to move speedily, however, the popular opinion that a turbocharger can achieve this quest may not hold in certain cases. It does not change the fact that greater turbo boost pressure helps the engine to make more power even though more boost does not always mean more power.

The latter can be tied to the fact that a lot of factors also go into making your ride a speedy one. And that being said, we’ll go ahead and show you when things may change in certain cases.


What Is Turbo Boost?

Turbochargers are air compressors that function the same way as superchargers. These compressors shove more air into the engine than what the piston would’ve been able to ingest on its own, and this air is stacked up in the intake manifold thereby creating pressure.

The pressure is referred to as boost and expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI). A turbocharger may be able to move enough air than the engine can use even at low pressures thereby causing an instant boost that impacts power.

The greater the turbo boost pressure, the greater the engine power. Besides, boosting an engine using a turbocharger does not only help to increase the engine’s horsepower but also its torque.


What Causes a Change in Power?

Imagine if you have two turbocharged cars featuring the same type of engine with the same displacement. These two vehicles are able to achieve a 20 psi of boost, however, one of them provides more power than the other.

This would be quite surprising even though it is entirely possible. But here’s why what’s described above may be the case:

1. The Temperature of Ingoing Air

Based on the scenario described for the vehicles above, they may not provide the same power despite a similar boost in their pressures. A major factor that also contributes to the power output is the temperature of the air entering the engine.

For instance, if one of the cars has a smaller, less efficient turbocharger, it will tend to work harder and spin even faster in a bid to attain the 20 psi of boost. The fact that the turbocharger is spinning fast causes the air to heat up more, and therefore, be less dense.

It can be said that the turbocharger is working against itself since its fast spinning causes the air to heat too much. When the air is less dense, it means that enough oxygen is not entering the engine which could’ve resulted in more fuel being burnt and increased power output. You should also note the following:

a. Compressed Air

Compressing air may also cause the air to heat up. As a result, the oxygen’s density is reduced while the odds of detonation in the cylinder is increased. That being the case, you may not get more horsepower despite the same displacements of both vehicles.

b. Adiabatic Efficiency

Adiabatic efficiency (AE) determines how well a turbocharger compresses air without leading to excessive generation of heat. In this case, the compressor’s AE range is determined by the ratio of pressure it produces to the amount of air it can flow. Also, compressors have a “sweet spot” where they can perform at maximum efficiency.

2. Absence of Intercooler

One may argue that both cars have the same turbocharger which should’ve resulted in the same power output. Nonetheless, another factor that can cause a difference in power output is an intercooler.

If the car lacks an intercooler, it means the turbocharged air is not cooled before it enters the engine. Compared to a vehicle that has this component, the air is hotter and lacks more oxygen. Therefore, a limitation of this nature can also make a difference in the power output.

3. Larger Intake Ports

When it comes to the use of superchargers, more power with less boost can be achieved by using larger intake ports. What this does, is to restrict the airflow which causes more air to enter the cylinders. Accordingly, the restriction to airflow at a high rpm can cause more air to be moved thereby helping the engine to produce more power.

4. Faulty Turbocharger

Turbochargers pressurize air before it enters the engine, which helps to create boost pressure. However, a faulty turbo may cause your engine to slow down and as such, you need to look out for these symptoms to tell if yours need to be checked. Some of these signs include loss of normal boost pressure and power, increased oil consumption, turbo noise, excessive exhaust smoking, etc.


Is Airflow More Important Than Boost?

After going through the reasons outlined above, you’ll agree that it centers more on airflow. Thus, more focus should be given to the airflow and you’ll be able to achieve the power you need. For instance, using high boost pressures only as compensation for poor airflow through the cylinder head may still result in low power output.

On the contrary, your quest for more power will be achieved if the engine is built properly, thereby allowing the boost, good airflow through the cylinder heads, and intake and exhaust manifolds to have a better effect on the power.

It will allow a few pounds less of boost and at the same time, maintain the same horsepower and torque levels. In the end, you get a cooler, more octane-tolerant engine that produces great power.


The Bottom Line

These are some of the reasons why a boost may not result in more power since the entrance of more oxygen into the engine is also a deciding factor. Therefore, if you’re looking to improve your ride’s horsepower with the use of a turbocharger, the efficiency at which air enters the vehicle is important – it can go a long way to make your efforts more rewarding.

On the same note, components like the intercooler can prove useful in this case. With these and many more in place, your desire for more speed can be handled by your ride.


New Vehicle Models Kicking 2020 Into High Gear

New Vehicle Models Kicking 2020 Into High Gear - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

It’s 2020! And if you’re looking for the fastest cars from your favorite manufacturer, we’ve narrowed down to those that are worth the time, attention, and your hard-earned money. These are new and upcoming vehicle models that have been revamped with the latest hardware and software that meet the need for speed.

The designs of these 2020 models are major upgrades from their predecessors, and their road and off-road performance are more than impressive. So, you’ve got the money? Let’s show you a great car that can be yours this year even before the rest of the world starts driving it.


New and Upcoming 2020 Vehicle Models

Here’s a list of our top favorite new and upcoming vehicle models from top manufacturers of cars around the world. They include:


2020 Chevrolet Corvette

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the eighth-generation of Corvette sports car from the American company, General Motors. As an upcoming convertible, the C8 is a mid-engine setup that only adopts a single part from last generation’s Corvette.

What to expect, is an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission that helps to send the power to the wheel as well as a 6.2-liter V8 engine on all models of the C8. The C8 will also provide improved weight distribution and better handling, and its optional magnetorheological dampers ensure that it keeps riding flat through corners.

Accordingly, you should expect a ride that can handle the speed and load it’ll have to endure. Its maker Chevrolet claims that this is not your everyday car –  but a car you’ll want to drive every day. It has been designed in different colors including Torch red, Artic white, Shadow Gray metal, Blade Silver Metallic, among others. So, how much will the 2020 Corvette cost?

The starting price for the 2020 Corvette has been set around $59,995 for the base model, while the other two trims go for $67,295  and $71,945. The C8 vehicle will go on sale from Spring this year, however, you can pre-order this ride.


2020 Jeep Gladiator

Another new ride you’ll come to appreciate like every other car fanatic is the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, boasting of a blend of SUV and pickup attributes. It was one of the anticipated pickup trucks prior to its release, and it is still creating a wave of excitement even after its launch.

This is a ride that has been specially designed for great off-road experience due to its suspension geometry and all-wheel-drive system. It may be just as exciting as the Jeep Wrangler, given that it can be optioned sparsely with roll-up windows and manual lock doors as well as upgraded with more bells and whistles.

Nonetheless, the Gladiator is even better since it packs in a lot more than usual. This one brings something different to the table by its extra 4000lbs of towing capacity and a five-foot pickup bed. You can take it one step further to upgrade the Gladiator with several off-road benefits including skid plates, locking differential, and different axle ratios.

There’s the option to bring whatever you want along with you thanks to the 7,650-pound towing capacity and 1,700-pound payload of this ride. The start price for the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is $43,740m while trims like the Sport, Sport S, and Overland go for $33,545, $36,940, $40,590, and $43,740 respectively.


2020 Ford Escape

Ford Motor Company is offering the 2020 Ford Escape, and it is a vehicle to keep a close eye on if you’re out to get some adventure on the road this year. SUVs are quite popular in the US market and if you love vehicles of this nature, then this one might steal your attention.

The 2020 Ford Escape is slightly larger than previous generations of Ford Escape, however, it is lighter than its predecessor. What’s more, the design of the Ford Escape makes it stand out from cars from previous generations, given its redefined interior and exterior looks.

FordPass Connect with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, WAZE Technology, among others are features that make this ride an admirable one. It’s worth noting that there are different models of this vehicle and these are S, SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Titanium, while there are seven configurations of the vehicle.

What’s evident on the base model is a turbo-3 and an 8-speed automatic, whereas, there are trims that feature a stronger turbo-4 and all-wheel drive. The 2020 Ford Escape has a start price of $24,885 for the S model, while the SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Titanium models go for $27,095, $28,255, $29,255, and $33,400 respectively.


2020 Land Rover Defender

An enhancement to the Defender lead to a 2020 Land Rover Defender, and the effort put into its design is definitely worth it. The design of this vehicle makes it powerful to handle off-roading, despite its simple yet rugged build.

It will even be featured in No Time To Die, the latest James Bond movie, which makes it even more exciting. On the other hand, this is an upcoming vehicle and it will be available as two diesel engines and two gas engines, which, therefore, gives you a choice between which.

Interestingly, there are expectations for a plug-in hybrid variant that could potentially rely completely on electricity to drive. The Defender has an 11.5-inch ground clearance and a wading depth of 35.4 inches, evidence that this variant has been significantly upgraded.

Much more, it features a 10-inch touchscreen, multiple cameras to make it easy to view the exterior while off-roading. There is also a software with over the air updates via 5G and its start price has been set at $65,100.


2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

There’s also the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, a new vehicle and a slightly upgraded variant to the CR-V, which has been one of the best-selling vehicles in the United States. The CR-V Hybrid is one of the most anticipated vehicles in 2020, and it has been built with compact crossover proportions and interior refinement.

It features a revamped exterior look and its interior has been designed to impress given features like the wireless phone charger and leather-trimmed seats it comes with. This eco-friendly vehicle parades with outstanding performance and enhanced styling, and if that sounds, good, here’s a vehicle to take very seriously.

What’s more, its new set of wheels (19-inch alloy wheel), paint colors, and standard Honda Sensing driver safety technology are some things that give it an appeal. Supporting its high level of performance is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that is paired to two electric motors that can generate 212 horsepower, and an advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain for better fuel mileage.


2020 Hyundai Venue

The 2020 Hyundai Venue is a smaller variant to the Hyundai Kona, which makes it an ideal ride if you’re looking for a portable ride. What’s more, it can be moved into tight car spaces and driven speedily around big cities which are some of the perks of driving a small SUV in the first place.

The vehicle has chiseled angles, fresh style, and its small size does not translate in for fragility. In terms of specifications, this vehicle relies on a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that is paired to a continuously variable transmission.

There’s the potential to improve to a six-speed manual gearbox, and that means you can have even more speed. The base model of this ride comes with several safety features including forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert.

In line with that, there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which are all features on all models of these vehicles. There are three venue trims and these are the SE, SEL, and Denim which are offered at a price of $16,750, $18,650, and $21,450 respectively.


2020 Mazda CX-30

The Mazda CX-30 falls between the current CX-3 and CX-5 and has been built to feature the latest technology and safety. Compared to the CX-3, the CX-30 offers:

    • 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space, instead of the 12.4 cubic feet found on the CX-3.
    • 8.8” color touchscreen and Apple CarPlay, as standard which is the case of the CX-5.
    • Is a smaller model than the CX-5.

As part of Mazda’s utility lineup, it will feature three engines at launch and two M hybrid SKY ACTIVE engines and one diesel powertrain, which is a range of choices. There will also be three different trims to choose from and specially tailored to the U.S. market.


The Bottom Line

These are the latest vehicles for 2020 to choose from if you’re all about great speed. Each has been built to handle great on roading or off-roading, as such, you only need to choose a suitable vehicle to match the terrain you’ll use it on.

There’s a convertible, to begin with, a pickup truck, and SUVs, hence, there’s a wide range of options to choose from. The best part is, these vehicles feature the latest technology which makes them a big competitor with their predecessors and vehicles from other manufacturers.

Overview of the NAG1 Transmission

Overview of the NAG1 Transmission - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

Over the course of the years, several transmissions have been launched and one that is worth mentioning is the NAG1 transmission. The NAG1 was quite popular in its time and interestingly, it was used in several Chrysler products.

The high use of this transmission was an attestation of its quality, which made it a force to reckon with. On the other hand, we’ve outlined an overview of the NAG1 transmission and what makes it unique. A closer look is also taken to at cars that used the NAG1 transmission.


What Is the NAG1 Transmission, Exactly?

The acronym NAG1 denotes “New” for N, “Automatic” for A, “Gearbox” for G, and “generation 1” for 1. Also, this 5-speed transmission is used to denote a category of automatic transmissions that have a round 13-way connector.

The connector is stationed near the right side, front corner of the transmission oil pad. The NAG1 can also be called by other names such as the WA580, W5A380, or W5A580. The W5A580 stands for:

    • W = Transmission using a hydraulic torque converter.
    • 5 = 5 forward gears.
    • A = Automatic transmission.
    • 580 = Maximum input torque capacity in Newton meters.

It is worth noting that Chrysler moved to this automatic transmission. The W5A580 / WA580 transmission had several advantages to previous Chrysler automatics, and they were more efficient compared to the four-speed automatics that were evident in the LX-car engines.


Cars That Came With the NAG1 Transmission

The NAG1 automatic transmission was used in several Chrysler products such as the Grand Cherokees, Dodge Caravans, Ram trucks, and Jeep Wranglers. Specifically, some cars that came with the NAG1 transmission are:

    • Jeep Commander (V6 3.7L, from 2006 to 2011).
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee (SRT–8, from 2006 to 2013).
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo (V6 3.7L 3.6L, from 2006 to 2013).
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and Overland (V6 3.6L, from 2012 to 2013).
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee (V6 3.0L Diesel, 2007 to 2011).
    • Jeep Wrangler, (gas engines from 2011 to 2014).
    • Dodge Nitro, (V6 4.0L from 2007 to 2011).
    • Dodge Magnum SRT–8, (some SXT, R/T, 2007 to 2011).
    • Dodge Charger SRT 8, (2006-2013).
    • Dodge Challenger, V8, (2009 to 2013 and V6 in 2011).
    • Chrysler 300 (300C with 5-speed transmissions, 2005 to 2012).
    • Chrysler Crossfire, (from 2004 to 2007).
    • Jaguar XJ and XKR Supercharged, (from 1998 to 2003).
    • Mercedes C55 AMG, CLS55 AMG, E55 AMG, G55 AMG, ML430, S65 AMG and others.
    • Sprinter Vans, 2004 to 2012 (Dodge, Mercedes, Freightliner).


Features of the NAG1

The NAG1 transmission was built with an  electronically controlled 5-speed transmission system with a lock-up clutch in the torque converter. The electronic controls help the NAG1 gears to be activated hydraulically.

Moreover, it provides a precise adaptation of pressures to the respective operating conditions. In this case, the gears can be shifted by combining three multi-disc holding clutches, two freewheeling clutches, as well as three multi-disc driving clutches.

On the other hand, the fifth gear of this transmission is an overdrive with a high-speed ratio. Also, the ratios for the gear stages can be gotten by three planetary gear sets.


Benefits of NAG1 Transmissions

Some benefits offered by the NAG1 transmissions are:

    • Increased gas mileage.
    • Increased service life.
    • Increased shift control.
    • Reduced maintenance costs.
    • Enhances step-ups through the five gears.


NAG1 Transmission Problems

Despite the benefits of the NAG 1 transmissions, some problems were evident in them. For starters, Chrysler discontinued the use of this transmission in its products and the reason was attributed to the transmission’s use of electronic controls.

On the same note, earlier versions of this transmission were said to have a short lifespan. The latter was linked to the transmission’s sensitivity to fluid, slow shifting, and transmission filler tube o-ring leaking.

After upgrades, these problems were eliminated in the transmission. Other problems that may be noticeable on the W5A580/NA include the following:


1. Shudder

A shudder vibration or high-frequency buzzing may be experienced while using the NAG1 transmission. This problem may be evident when the acceleration is applied lightly and there is a partial application of the torque converter clutch in 3rd, 4th, or 5th gears.

The reason this occurs can be attributed to the passage of water past the transmission oil fill tube/dipstick seal. What’s more, contaminated transmission fluid can lead to sticking or slipping. Moreover, this transmission was extremely sensitive to the fluid quality.


2. Slipping, Erratic Shifting, or Reverse Gear Engagement

A notable problem with the W5A580 transmission is its ability to slip between gears. There could be a hard slam or erratic up or downshifts when the transmission engages its Drive or Reverse.


3. Overheating

Another cause of concern for the W5A580 transmission is overheating. If the ATF is unable to remove the heat that is created inside the transmission as its parts move and create friction, it could lead to overheating.


Operation of the NAG1 Transmission

The NAG1 transmission control was sectioned into electronic and hydraulic control functions. For starters, the electronic transmission control helps in gear selection and matching the pressures to the torque that is meant to be transmitted.

On the other hand, the hydraulic elements in the electro-hydraulic control module take care of the transmission’s power supply. Moreover, the oil supply to the hydraulic elements is transmitted through the connection of the oil pump with the torque converter.

There is also the Transmission Control Module (TCM) that helps in the precise adaptation of pressures to the matching operating conditions. It also helps in the engine output during the gearshift phase which could result in the improvement of shift quality.

Also, the engine speed limit can be attained in each of the gears at full throttle and kick-down. There’s also the potential for a change in the forward gears as the user drives, however, the TCM uses a downshift safeguard which helps to prevent over-revving the engine.

The benefit of this is that the system brings about the advantage of flexible adaptation to different engine and vehicle variants.


The Bottom Line

An overview of the NAG1 transmission shows that it was built to have high quality and stand the test of time. And most importantly, this transmission was used in a good number of cars which is evidence of its functionality.

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that it came with its own problems, and as such, it could be compared with other transmissions that had the same issues. Over and above that, the NAG1 transmission is worth the attention given the revamped specs it featured.


‘Tis the Season for Performance Transmission Upgrades

'Tis the Season for Performance Transmission Upgrades - Gearstar

It’s that time of the year when you get on the road with your friends and family. But don’t let a laggy ride drag you back, try some performance transmission upgrades that can turn your current car into your dream ride.

There is so much more a high-performance transmission coupled with a torque converter or drivetrain components can do for your vehicle, and for starters, it can improve its horsepower. All you need is DIU upgrades, and where you get stuck, you can employ the services of a professional to give your ride a boost even in the winter cold.

It’s the moment of celebration and as such, even the car you spend a few minutes in should bring you joy. If you agree, then these are the performance transmission upgrades you should try to enjoy the jingle bells season.


Why You Should Optimize Your Transmission for Increased Performance

Here are some reasons why your ride needs a performance transmission upgrade.


1. Engine Produces Torque that Can be Handled

Performance transmission upgrades are important for your car since it ensures that your engine does not produce more torque than what can be handled by the transmission. If that happens, a lot can go wrong which is usually evident in worn synchros, broken shafts, and bent forks.


2. More Power Can be Handled

It is also essential to upgrade your transmission so that it can handle more power, and the same applies to the transmission’s gear ratios to have increased performance. For instance, if you have a GM 4L60/E series transmission which was notably used in performance vehicles, it may not deliver to its best capability due to old-school mods.

Old-school mods are unable to improve the durability of your ride when it comes to extreme racing applications. Modern parts, on the other hand, are able to handle modern horsepower.


3. Improved Acceleration

A performance upgrade to the transmission can enable the engine to spend more time in the power band’s sweet spot. It is, however, worth noting that this might not impact the peak horsepower that is getting to the ground.

Nonetheless, the average horsepower that is put to the ground is increased thereby giving an improved acceleration that makes for a quicker 0-60, quarter mile or lap times.


Performance Transmission Upgrades

Your car’s power and ability to regulate heat all lie in its transmission and as such, this is such a powerful component. You would often need to do the following to get a good performance transmission upgrade:

  • Rebuild manual
  • Rebuild kit
  • Shift kit
  • Accumulator pistons
  • Separator plate
  • Torque converter


1. Rebuild

A great place to start is to replace or rebuild your transmission in a bid to improve its performance. It’ll be one that can handle payload more efficiently, and as such, what you’ll get is a faster and more powerful transmission. When it comes to rebuilding your transmission, you can rely on a car repair shop to do it for you.

In this case, your duty is to ensure that the shop uses the highest-quality OEM transmission parts and has skilled technicians to rebuild your current transmission. The result will be quite rewarding if either of these is in place since it’ll take a good technician to make the most of the quality parts you will be offered.

On the other hand, there are rebuild manuals for automatic transmissions, hence, if you want to do the upgrade yourself, you can be armed with one of these. A good resource manual centers on various aspects of how to work with the transmission in your car including the assembly, dis-assembly, diagnosis, troubleshooting, etc.


2. Rebuild Kits

There are also rebuild kits you can work with and if you choose to do it yourself, this type would prove useful. Let’s say you’re working with a 4L60E transmission, then you can settle for a standard better-than-stock kit with a molded piston kit or a high-performance rebuild kit.

Depending on which you settle for, it will determine the things you can do to your transmission and how well you can optimize your ride. The high-performance kit sometimes features the following: Raybestos Stage 1 clutches, a Kevlar band, a new filter, Kolene steel plates with 8 clutches 3-4 pack and a full bushing kit.


3. Shift Kits

Shift kits are also required in performance transmission upgrades. The 4L60E takes advantage of one of two kits most times, it is better to use one of two shift kits.

Some of these are the TRG-SK4L60E, and the TRG-4L60E-HD2. TRG-SK4L60E helps to prevent, correct, and reduce problems that may be associated with shift performance.

On the same note, it fixes harmonic bounce that may wear out the pump and valves and thereby, cause shuttle shifts.


4. Schedule a Transmission Upgrade

Now’s the time to take action, and schedule a transmission upgrade with a reliable company. In this case, you’ll be getting a high-performance transmission upgrade, and therefore good quality that can give a significant boost in your ride’s speed.

Moreover, such a company is one that has a high level of experience when it comes to high-performance transmission upgrades for vehicles. The same applies to whether it is an automatic or manual you are driving since the transmission in either of these can be upgraded.


5. Accumulator Pistons

There are also accumulator pistons that need to be replaced, and they are usually recommended in the case of a 4L60E rebuild. If they aren’t replaced, these may tend to ruin your transmission. In the 4L60E, a great place to start would be to replace the forward accumulator piston a well as the 1-2 accumulator piston.


The Bottom Line

Now it’s your turn to implement these performance upgrades on your car to improve its horsepower this season. The goal is to have a ride that can handle the impact of the winter given that this season is usually accompanied by snow and ice on roads.

And if you still want to transport easily, these tips can show you where to begin and the transmission in your car that is in dire need of upgrades. Therefore, don’t assume you’ve got the perfect ride, but go out there and do it.